Last Updated on January 21, 2022
To understand the value of on-demand doctor mobile app, we need to consider a scenario. The scenario would be of you arriving for an important meeting at your office with all the work done to have a great discussion with your colleagues and partners but all of sudden you feel a sickening pain in your head. Now, you are crossroads whether to attend this meeting for which you have prepared so enthusiastically or go and see a doctor to get your headache checked.
The decision-making window in these scenarios is very short and in the rush of blood, you often take the wrong decisions which affect both your health and work. But to free millions of people out there from getting stuck in this dilemma, e-prescription or doctor on-demand app was launched in recent times. What these apps have provided is an instant fix to the health-related problems. People can open “doctor on-demand” apps and call doctors online to have a one-on-one online conversation with the doctor of their liking.
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Benefits Associated with Doctor On-Demand Apps
People who decide to get involved with these telemedicine apps open themselves up for a lot of benefits in the present and also down the road. Let us have a look at some of the most eye-catching benefits.
Improvement in Patient Outcome
A telemedicine app cut slack to patients on a lot of fronts such as visiting clinics and hospitals for follow-ups, missing appointments, seeking medications, or asking for prescriptions over and over again. This benefits the patient in another way and that is they get proper attention from their doctors unlike when they visit rushy clinics and this, in turn, improves their overall experience.
This is regarded as one of the major benefits of telemedicine apps as they allow healthcare practitioners and patients to keep a record of the important details on their mobile app. This provides tremendous relief to both the parties from hassling here and there in maintaining in-office administrative paperwork.
Higher Level of Convenience
Telemedicine is working wonders in all areas of a particular city but the most relief that it is providing is to the residents of rural areas. As we all know that people living in rural areas suffer the most when it comes to visiting a doctor or medical specialist as almost all the doctors reside in urban areas. In order to make an appointment, a rural resident will have to travel a large amount of distance and this can prove decisive in saving a life of a child or an elderly.
Since these healthcare services are very convenient and available to the people out there in real-time, there is automatically a lowering down of all costs that are associated with ER Trips and hospital admissions. These processes have been made a lot reasonable by these telehealth solutions.
Decrease in Hospital Readmissions
As it is clearly understandable from all the points mentioned above, the sole purpose of telemedicine apps is to provide as much assistance to its patients as possible. Following these, we arrive at a point which states that patients by using telemedicine apps can enjoy the benefits of the healthcare services even by staying at their homes. There is no need to get themselves admitted to hospitals to avail all the benefits.
What it has done is that it has reduced the number of hospital readmissions without compromising with the quality of service that is being offered to the clients.
These telemedicine apps are beneficial to the doctors in equal measures as they help the doctors cut down their expenditure on equipment, hospital staff, and infrastructure. This simple step is directly assisting doctors in creating and maintaining a higher ROI.
Mature Work-Life Balance
It is really fascinating that doctors through these telemedicine apps can interact with their patients even when they are traveling or working from home. Virtual visits to their patient’s home to deliver appropriate medical services is an option that these medical apps provide to the doctors. It can be easily seen how this option helps doctors to maintain and enjoy a superb work-life balance.
Advantage in Competition
Not all the doctors and medical organizations out there are providing such supreme facilities to the patients out there. So if you are looking to get ahead of the race then you can look to invest in telemedicine app development and gain upper hand in the market competition.
Since telemedicine apps provide such benefits, this healthcare and fitness industry is flourishing in an exponential manner. The proof of this can be provided from the fact that in 2018, this industry was valued USD 4.50 billion, and by the year 2027, it is anticipated to be worth USD 32.71 billion with a CAGR of 24.7% during this period.
How Exactly Does a Doctor On-Demand App Works
Though each telemedicine app has its own working logic still the average flow of doctor-on-demand app goes in the following manner:
- In order to receive treatment from a particular doctor, the patient needs to log-in to the system, create an account, and give a detailed description of his/her symptoms.
- In the following step, the app goes through the symptoms that have been mentioned by the patient, and on the basis of these the app searches the most suitable medical expert that lies nearby them.
- After finding a doctor that matches the patient’s requirements, he/she can make a video call to the doctor and set up an appointment using the in-app calendar.
- In the video consultation that follows, the doctor communicates with the patient regarding his uneasiness. After detecting the problem, the doctor recommends the necessary treatment, assigns lab tests, and all the other related stuff.
- As soon as the video consultation process is over, the patient does the normal and pays the doctor for the attained healthcare services through a built-in payment gateway. After he pays up for his treatment, he is provided with the receipts with prescribed meds and proper doctor’s recommendations.
Market Size and Stats for Telemedicine or Doctor On-Demand Apps
A survey was conducted around major cities of the U.S. which showed that new patients that visit the hospital had to wait for 24 days to get an appointment with the physician. Due to this serious delay, one of every three patients decides to visit the emergency ward instead of visiting their preferable physicians.
- 82% of the patients nodded on the option of developing technologies that would make the process of receiving healthcare benefits as easy as riding a taxi or ordering food.
- 77% of the patients look to contact their physician through text messages.
- 69% of patients want to have virtual appointments with their physicians instead of offline visits.
With all the benefits that are being provided by the doctor on-demand app, its industry is flourishing at a rapid rate. Its impact can be seen in the fact that the global telehealth market which was valued at around USD 4.50 billion in 2018 is anticipated to reach a worth of USD 32.71 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 24.7% during the forecast period.
Adoption Rate of Digital Health Tools in the U.S. from 2015 to 2019
mHealth Solutions Market Statistics
Monetization Strategies for On-Demand Doctor Apps
If you look around, you will find a lot of options that will help you gather money from these health-related apps. A survey was conducted in 2018 which showed the percentage of the monetization strategies that these healthcare applications goes by with:
- Licensing (35%)
- Sales of services such as remote consulting (26%)
- App development for third parties (25%)
- Sponsorship (24%)
- Premium Content (18%)
- Pay per download (16%)
- Device sales (16%)
- In-app advertising (10%)
- Transactions (8%)
Some of the Other Popular Monetization Methods Used by TeleHealth Apps:
In this method, users usually pay a monthly or yearly fee to get a taste of the app. Myca Nutrition uses this model.
2. Software as a service
Licensing the app is necessary for private practices. Prime examples of this model are Doctor on Demand and American Well. American Well charges hospitals around $1 a month for one employee.
3. Transaction fee
In this method, the app charges its patients on a per-minute basis for their visits. Pakistan-based TeleDoctor by Telenor Group does exactly this. This platform charges $0.08/minute. While the Doctor on demand charges patients a 25% fee for a consultation.
Major On-Demand Doctor Apps Running the Show
DoctorOnDemand is a superb telemedicine app that provides patients with video appointments, receiving prescriptions, and messaging. Around 1400 state-licensed physicians across the U.S. are associated with this platform. Some of the basic features of this app include online video appointments, appointment scheduling, Search for a necessary specialist, patient data storage, built-in payment gateway, and integrated maps to look out for nearby pharmacies to avail the doctor-prescribed drugs.
ZocDoc is a US-based telemedicine app that serves over 6 million people each month. Major features installed in ZocDoc involve reminders regarding upcoming appointments, appointment scheduling, looking out for a doctor using an integrated map.
HealthTap is designed for both the ios and android users. The website version of this app is also available for virtual appointments with doctors. Features associated with HealthTap include payment gateway, secure in-app messages, online video consultation, and various others.
Medici is a HIPAA-complaint app that looks to create a bond between doctors and patients. With Medici on their phones, patients can pay a virtual visit to the doctors, veterinarians, therapists through video, audio, or text chats. Through this app, they can also receive lab results, prescriptions, and referrals. If we look at the other end, a doctor can prescribe medicine, set rates, manage schedules, chat with peers, create group chats, keep track of all the earnings done through the app, set rates and claim the money.
Find a doctor is serving as the largest healthcare network in Pakistan. Marhampk is a great app connecting thousands of patients to doctors nationwide through various platforms. The key features of this app are health forum, appointment booking, and scheduling, managing in-clinic and also online audio/video appointments of the patients, maps for location accuracy, and data of thousands of doctors all around the country. Moreover, Marham has now offered a medicine delivery service that delivers your medicine in just a few hours. This app is available for the use of both Android and IOS users. Additionally, Marhampk also functions not only through the app but a website as well.
Some Other Popular Telemedicine/TeleHealth & Doctor On-Demand Apps
Teladoc, Amwell, Doxy.me, Wello, Doctoroo, Coviu, Babylon Health, Push Doctor, MinDoktor, Medlive, BCBSM Online Visits, and OlaDoc are some of the popular telemedicine apps in the USA, UK, Europe, and many parts of the world. People use these doctor appointment apps for taking e-prescriptions and online consultations with a doctor .
Challenges While Developing a Telemedicine Mobile App
Patients that look to use these telemedicine apps place a very high priority on the protection of their data. They will have a close look at whether the app is secure or not and will it be able to protect their uploaded information.
HIPPA policies, on the other hand, makes the task even more challenging as these policies require the apps to follow strict rules which in turn put shackles on the creativity of software engineers. Backend integration will allow your app to have a completely separate server which will help you in mediating data between two involved parties in such a way that it is HIPAA compliant and provides the much-needed data security.
Experience for Users
One uphill task that the software engineering team faces is to develop a great UI/UX implementation as the app will have separate parts for both doctors and patients. Both of the parts will have different functionality, user interfaces, and technical feasibilities.
To provide great user experience, the UX designer needs to consider:
- Keeping style uniformity
- Keeping an eye on how all the elements will operate as a single unit in both parts of the app.
A lot of major countries in the world have decided to enact a telemedicine parity law which is based on the principle of charging for remote patient treatment by healthcare specialists. What it does is that it makes the process easy for both the parties in case your team is able to incorporate secure card payment, Medicare insurance, modifiers, and various codes into the process of using the app.
Medical Compliances e-Prescription App Needs to Follow
There are all sorts of medical compliances that an e-prescription app needs to follow taking from
- HIPAA for health apps
- Health Level 7: HL7 Standards
- FDA’s medical apps policy
- HITECH Act meaningful use stage 1 & 2
- Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines
- Certification with EPSC
- FDA Policy for mobile medical applications.
All in all, there are all sorts of compliances, app integrations, and certifications that an app developer needs to comply with in order to get the app on its way.
General Features of On-Demand Doctor Consultation App
Telemedicine App Features For Patients
When a new patient wants to use this app then he has to give details of his chronic conditions. Apart from this, the patient also has to provide information regarding his/her age, sex, and insurance.
Video Medical Appointments
Video calls are the crux on which mobile telemedicine app works. Through video calls, doctors and patients can have live interactions. HIPAA compliant telemedicine apps can be considered by the patients in order to protect their data from breaches. Ready-made third-party API such as Daily.co is the best bet for all the users in order to keep their information safe.
Search for a Medical Specialist
Whenever a patient wants to find out a medical specialist for an urgent need then he looks to turn to geolocation in order to find out the nearest doctor available in the vicinity. Integrating the Google Maps platform via third-party API that determines the patient location and nearby pharmacies will make the app compliant with medical regulations.
Reviews of Doctor
After receiving treatment from a doctor, the patient has the option of giving his feedback regarding his experience with a specific doctor. He can go to the reviews and rating section to provide his reviews and ratings for the doctor.
After taking consultation from the doctor, the patient has to pay the required fees of the doctor. To pay through the app, the patient requires a payment gateway which you will be integrating through API.
Telemedicine App Features For Doctors
Doctor panel is an important part of all the telemedicine app as it is integrated with electronic health records that contain paramount information about patients, prescription drugs, and a calendar that includes all the scheduled appointments.
Management of Appointments
After the patient is done with the first major step of finding a suitable medical specialist, he has to book an appointment through the app and after that place all the required information regarding his medical conditions and medical records. The part of the patient is over after this as the app will automatically manage time slots and inform when one or the other medical specialist is available.
In order to allow patients and doctors to send secures messages within the app, exchange x-rays, reports, prescriptions, the developer will have to give extra weightage to the technical solutions that he is going to choose. All the information mentioned above falls under the category of patient sensitive data and therefore needs to meet telemedicine regulations and guidelines. So, the best bet would be to use GDPR and HIPPA-compliant message platforms like Q-municate. REST-API & SDK is the way to integrate this technological solution into your app.
Advanced Features to Develop a Superb On-Demand Doctor App
Nowadays almost all the apps are using the medium of social media accounts to help out there users to log in and this has made the process of logging in pretty simple. Users don’t need to remember there ids and passwords anymore.
Voice search is an advanced feature in all the doctor on-demand apps that frees the user from typing anything to search anything on the app. The user can search for a doctor or medical assistant by saying his or her name through the speaker and the search will be performed automatically.
In-app Video Calling
A video or voice call allows the patient to share his discomfort freely as he is virtually connected to the doctor. This feature, on the other side also helps out the doctor to perform their task effectively.
Record Video Sessions
Live video sessions with the doctor can be recorded to be viewed for later reference. In case the patient wants to have a further look at the medicine or exercises that the doctor suggested to him then he can have a look at them by having a look at the recorded session.
Through medical reminders, the patient is reminded of the medication that he has to take. The app sends a medical reminder in form of push notification which helps a patient to take the medication on time.
All the documents regarding a patient are stored safe and sound inside the locker of the app. The documents do not get misused in any way or form and patients can retrieve them any point of time they want.
To make the experience of document sharing better, document sharing feature has been added to the on-demand doctor apps. It enhances the image of the document and processes it into a sharp image that is easy to read.
Automated Health Insurance Claims
This feature helps the patient to check whether their prescribed treatments and medication comes under the insurance or not. This process can be done right after the bill generation.
Electronic Prior Authorization
Electronic Prior Authorization or EPA is an electronic process that enables patient and drug-specific PA criteria along with a real-time approval for medication prior authorization.
Significant Operational Support
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
The task of managing all the important records of a patient can prove quite taxing. Electronic Health Record helps out the users by keeping their medical records saved online within the app which can be sent to the users in the PDF form whenever they require.
Multiple Payment Gateway
Flexibility is available in terms of payment options in these apps. Options of a debit card, credit card, e-wallet, PayPal, and many other sources of payment are available.
This exclusive option for the admins help them to track real-time activities, for example, the number of active patients, doctors, and some other important aspects of the application.
Those customers who have used the application for a certain period of time and have achieved a time milestone with the app are applicable for the loyalty programs which contain various types of discounts and offers. Great rapport with the customers is a by-product of this feature.
Customer Relation Management is a key feature in maintaining the relationship between a doctor and a patient. Utilization of CRM in various creative ways helps out admins in maintaining a long-lasting relationship with their patients.
Marketing and Promotional Tools
Marketing and promotional tools are for the doctors who look to provide some additional benefits to their patients such as discount coupons or attractive offers on their medical bills.
Cloud Data Storage and Security
All the medical records and important information of the patients gets recorded on the cloud storage and can be retrieved by them anytime they want. There is full security on their medical history and another vital document.
Things to Consider Before Developing an e-Prescription App
1. Uncertainty regarding reimbursement
Keeping this concern in mind, the US Centre for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has suggested that Medicare advantage plans cover telemedicine services.
2. Quality of the clinics
Doctors raise their concerns regarding the quality of the clinics and that is why various medical establishments take important actions to ensure that clinical quality is up to the mark in those places.
3. Doubts over the quality of care provided
Medical practices need to make sure that healthcare quality is not compromised during healthcare visits.
4. Poor quality of buy-in
There is a doubt in some doctors’ minds that healthcare visits will someday replace the face-to-face visits and this in turn will reduce the quality of the healthcare services provided. Avera Health which is a regional health system in South Dakota looks to deal with doctor’s resistance to adopting the path of telemedicine through informative write-ups and in-person meetings.
Required Team Structure for Doctor On Demand App
The basic structure of a team associated with developing an e-prescription app consists of:
- Android Developers
- Project Manager
- IoS Developers
- Graphic Designers
- UX/UI Designers
- QA Testers
- Backend App Developers
Required Tech Stack for Doctor On Demand App
The technology required to build a telemedicine app depends on the number of features we include in it. However, we have created a basic list of tech stack needed to build an on-demand doctor appointment app.
- For front-end development: Java, Swift, Angular, Java, CSS, HTML, React
- Popular platforms: Android, iOS, Web Application
- For back-end development: Python, Laravel, Node.js
- For Push notifications, SMS, and in-app messaging: Batch, Twillo, Push.io
- For payment processing: PayPal API, Stripe API, Braintree SDK, and other e-wallets
- For the database: MongoDB, Cassandra, HBase, and Postgress
- For Cloud Environment: Google Cloud, AWS, Azure
- For Location tracking: MapKit framework for iOS, and Google Maps SDK for Android
- For real-time tracking: BigData, Cisco, Hadoop, Spark, Apache Flink, IBM, Google Maps API
- Social login: Facebook, Google, Twitter APIs
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Doctor Appointment App?
Various factors are associated with developing an e-prescription app and these factors are the geographical location of app development, availability of applications on multiple platforms like ios, Android, Wearables.
App Development Company’s Location
The geographical location of the selected mobile app development company plays a major role in affecting the overall cost of developing an app. Per hour cost of a developer in the USA is USD $150-$250, in Eastern Europe, this cost comes down to a range of USD $120-$180 while in Asian countries like the per hour cost of a developer is in the window of USD $40-$80.
The number of features that an app is going to contain is also instrumental in calculating the overall cost of the e-prescription app. For an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) version of the doctor on-demand app, the cost starts from USD $30,000. In case, the app is to be built for multiple platforms and with advanced features, the cost of the app is going to hike up over $80,000.
Since this pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the world, the old normal has been replaced by the new normal. New normal includes a lot of new norms but the most significant of all those is the delivery of all the necessities at your doorsteps. Since people have been cautioned to stay at home in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is a great opportunity for app developers to create an app that will take medical specialists right at the door of the patient. Creating an app of such adequacy will connect with all the patients in the need for attention at such a critical moment of time. So, the above details will help you create a telemedicine app that serves directly to all the basic needs of medical casualties out in the world.